Ash Wednesday, March 6, 2019
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I know a couple that every year on their wedding anniversary, they sit down and evaluate their relationship, and what they find meaningful, what they find difficult, where they thrive as a couple, and where they have failed one another. I imagine this must be an amazing yet challenging conversation to have at times, but like many difficult conversations once they get going there are sure to bear fruit. In fact, this couple told me that they never look forward to the conversation. It often brings embarrassment and guilt to the table. But they expressed that they also have always left the conversation knowing that they are loved more than they knew by their partner, even the times where the admission of failure seems to be overwhelming.
Ash Wednesday always seems to be that anniversary for me and my relationship with God. I try and succeed at coming up with countless options to distract me from this difficult task, and often Lent is here long before I have invested any time in thinking about my successes and my shortcomings. But there is a sense of relief with Ash Wednesday in that I get to stop pretending that I am not broken. Maybe because we have this social pressure around the question of “What are you giving up for Lent?”, which is a less patronizing way of saying “How could you love more?” but once I have had the opportunity to pray with the questions that the Lenten season poses, then I can come to terms with who I am in the eyes of God. In naming how I could be better, I find the energy to be better, to build the kingdom, to live in the Love that I know embraces me. It is in the coming to the conversation with God that is hard and I may drag my feet, but I trust that the conversation will end with the revelation that I am loved more than I ever knew.
Griffin Knipp, Campus Minister